Healtheway Announces New Health Information Exchange Initiative

February 25, 2014 in News

During the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society’s conference on Monday, Healtheway announced the launch of Carequality, a new initiative aimed at promoting health information exchange and developing a standardized framework for interoperability, FierceEMR reports (Durben Hirsch, FierceEMR, 2/24).

Healtheway is a not-for-profit, public-private partnership tasked with overseeing the eHealth Exchange, formerly known as the Nationwide Health Information Network Exchange (iHealthBeat, 6/19/13).

Initiative Details

Healtheway Executive Director Mariann Yeager described Carequality as an industry-driven effort to promote connectivity between HIE networks, similar to how banks joined together to share data for ATM operations.

At least 26 health care industry stakeholders have committed to participating in Carequality, including:

  • The California Association of Health Information Exchanges;
  • Epic Systems;
  • Kaiser Permanente;
  • MedVirginia;
  • The New York eHealth Collaborative (Sullivan, Government Health IT, 2/24);
  • Surescripts; and
  • Walgreen (Moukheiber, Forbes, 2/24).

Carequality has invited all health care industry stakeholders to participate in the initiative, but noted that non-participants will be able to access the group’s work (Freeman, EHR Intelligence, 2/24).

Comparison With CommonWell Health Alliance

Some observers have questioned whether Carequality’s efforts will overlap with the CommonWell Health Alliance, a coalition of EHR vendors that also aims to advance interoperability.

However, Yeager noted that Carequality is a distinct initiative because it seeks to represent many types of stakeholders, while CommonWell is a vendor-focused coalition (Forbes, 2/24).

Justin Barnes — vice president of government affairs for EHR vendor Greenway, a member of both initiatives — said he sees Carequality and CommonWell as complementary, not competitive (Government Health IT, 2/24).

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